Urdu

Hats and Doctors

Daisy Rockwell’s translation of the late Upendranath Ashk ♦ Daisy Rockwell’s translation of Hindi-Urdu writer Upendranath Ashk’s short stories is more of a teaser than a complete introduction to the Jalandhar-born author. Rockwell, who also edited the collection, had the fortune to meet Ashk a year before he died in Allahabad in 1996. She admiringly characterises …

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Going off script

A cross-border blog spreads the word of South Asian literature ♦ In India, Pakistani writers in English are considered common property. Their books are often published here first, and writers like Mohammed Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Nadeem Aslam frequent our literary festivals. But when it comes to contemporary Hindi or Urdu fiction crossing the …

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Mind your language

Learning Urdu in Delhi ♦ Growing up mostly in the US, my Hindi instruction was limited to brief bouts of Sunday school and reading that ubiquitous Children’s Book Trust Panchatantra with my mother. I did all right, but my family’s own connection to reading Hindi was slight, given that half wrote in Gujarati and the …

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Two to dastango

Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain ♦ Part of a longer cover story on Delhi’s theatre scene. If Delhi’s theatre universe can lay claim to any dramatic form, it’s dastangoi, the almost-forgotten art of narrating epics (dastans). Dastangoi has roots going back several centuries to recitals of the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, but the form got a second …

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Bridges, not barriers

Delhi’s new literary festival is an appropriately polyglot affair ♦ If India is, as Mark Twain put it, “the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues”, then Delhi is the place where all  these nations and tongues inevitably meet. This fortnight, a new festival acknowledges the importance of the capital as a literary destination …

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Stirring the pot

Delhi’s culinary melange ♦ Part of a Time Out Delhi food cover story, this is a short history of Delhi food, plus a guide to eating in the old city (published in 2008). Read the story as a PDF, find the text reproduced below, or download the PDF here. (Pairs well with this story on old Delhi …

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